I am of Iraqi/Iranian heritage. I was born in Kuwait in 1987, during Saddam Hussein's regime, 3 years prior to the Invasion of Kuwait and towards the end of the Iraq-Iran War. As a result, my family moved around frequently, till we eventually settled in New Zealand in 1996.
Growing up, I had always turned to painting or drawing as a way of processing the constant changes that took place amidst a turbulent upbringing. This form of expression neutralized the need to speak, which was often an obstacle in foreign countries where language, humor, cultures and traditions differed and contradicted my own. I learnt to adapt quickly in various situations, becoming increasingly sensitive to cultural nuances that dictated my behavior.
Similarly, my works respond directly to a particular time and place. I am drawn to volatile geographical situations where two or more ethnicities or religions co-exist side by side. I search for commonalities in clashing cultures, for glimmers of connection and acceptance in the most hopeless situations. This has informed the places I choose to travel and therefore the works I create.
2023 - present
Masters (History Major) - Massey University
2020 - 2022
Grad Dip of Arts History Major - Massey University
Studio Escalier Autumn Intensive Painting
2009 - 2013
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Whitecliffe
Adam Portraiture Award Finalist 2020
Studio Escalier Autumn Schorlarship
Molly Morpeth Canaday Award Finalist
Impressions National Art Awards, Nelson 1st Prize
Emerging Artist Award, Auckland 1st Prize
Lysaght Watt Trust Art Award, Hawera 1st Prize
Fellowship at PCRC Sarajevo
Sensory Exhibition Youth Exhibition
Adults painting teacher at Onehunga High School Adult Learning Center
Mentorship with Hayley Brown at Art Dept